We only have 18 summers together with our kids

But I'm determined to make the most of it.

We only have 18 summers together with our kids

Summer is upon us and my mind is already whirling with all the exciting plans I'm going to do with my toddler. We're going to go to the zoo, and the beach, and I want to see his face the first time he sees a firefly.

I want a chance to enjoy the warm, humid summer nights together, so I'm already planning on letting him stay up just a little late (only a few times), so we can eat an ice cream cone together and laugh and play under the moonlight.

A friend said something the other day that made me pause. She said something like, "When you think about it, we only have 18 summers together with our kids." And my heart dropped.


My son is already two, so I quickly thought I only have 17 summers left.

Seventeen summers together as a family. To vacation together. Stick our toes in the sand and splash water on each other at the beach.

Seventeen summers to enjoy lazy Sundays. To doze on the couch in the sticky, sweaty days of August, or to run through sprinklers to battle the heat.

Seventeen summers of childhood, of the time earmarked for us as a guarantee under one household. Where we grow up together, instead of apart, and where we'll create all the memories he'll hopefully look back fondly on, one day.

Seventeen summers to go exploring. Have adventures and discover new places, even if they're just in our town or our own home state.

Seventeen summers of backyard BBQs, corn on the cob, sliced watermelon and hamburgers.

Seventeen 4th of Julys, with fireworks and camping, hot dog buns and splashing in the pool.

Seventeen summers where he's exclusively mine. Before he becomes an adult and strikes out on his own, searching for and hopefully finding his 'people'—his best friends who will feel like family.

Seventeen summers for road trips, airplane rides, feeling like tourists and getting lost in a new place.

Seventeen summers of carnival rides, lemonade, cotton candy and s'mores.

Seventeen summers of sunscreen, mosquito bites, park picnics and hiking through the woods.

Seventeen summers before he grows up, moves out and creates a life of his own. Where he may spend whole summers away, exploring the world with friends or a partner, and sending home postcards to fill us in on his adventures.

I don't want to mourn something I haven't even lost yet, but I do realize how fleeting this time is. And since I can't hit pause and make it last just a little bit longer, I will try to enjoy and be present in each moment as we have them.

Because all too quickly, two turns to 10, turns to 15, turns to, "I promise I'll call you, Mama."

So while we have these days together, we'll laugh and sing and stay up too late and camp in the backyard. We'll turn off our cellphones and spend our days outside, and enjoy the time we have together. Because we still have 17 summers together. And that's a lot.

[This was originally published May 25, 2018]

In This Article

    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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